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Greatest Palace Music [CD]

Bonnie Prince Billy Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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‘The Wonder Show of The World’

On 29 March 2010 Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang (Emmett Kelly and Shahzad Ismaily) released ‘The Wonder of The World’ album on Domino on CD and vinyl formats. The three perviously recorded together for the album ‘Lie Down In The ... Read more in Amazon's Bonnie Prince Billy Store

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Greatest Palace Music + The Letting Go + Superwolf
Price For All Three: 24.89

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Mar 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B0001E5SRK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,831 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. New Partner 4:310.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Ohio River Boat Song 2:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Gulf Shores 3:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. You Will Miss Me When I Burn 4:080.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Brute Choir 3:410.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. I Send My Love To You 2:280.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. More Brother Rides 3:040.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Agnes, Queen Of Sorrow 3:140.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Viva Ultra 3:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Pushkin 4:010.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Horses 3:450.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Riding 3:420.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. West Palm Beach 4:030.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. No More Workhorse Blues 2:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. I Am A Cinematographer 7:440.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

A decade after forming the Palace Brothers, Kentuckian Will Oldham has decided to reinterpret his vintage repertoire, with Sings Greatest Palace Music rerouting the material via Nashville. That original combo had subsequent incarnations as Palace and Palace Music, while the reclusive Oldham has been known as Bonnie "Prince" Billy since 1998. Here, he's more openly country than ever before, roping in a team of sessioneers on honky tonkin' piano, merry fiddle, chicken-pluckin' mandolin and seepin' pedal steel guitar. There are even a few unlikely saxophone solos. The instrumental interplay is immediately impressive, the players making brief statements and never stepping on each other's stirrups. He's looking back at Gram Parsons for principal inspiration, giving the sing-along harmony backing-vocal treatment to these curiously uplifting songs of melancholia. The Prince is intent on celebrating misery, turning morose sentiments into positive anthems. All the elements are in place for a sincere invocation of a cowboy's dark side. Oldham's husky delivery has a faint strain in the throat, his lyrics always taking a sideways step. The album boasts a stylistic unity that draws together its songs, with some of the most rousing and fraught numbers arriving towards the end. "Viva Ultra" has Oldham singing with a totally broken conviction, "Pushkin" resounds with a persuasive "God is the answer" chorus, and "No More Workhorse Blues" pushes the levels even further, towards total commitment. --Martin Longley

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gilt Edged Palace of Song 26 Mar 2004
By degrant
Format:Audio CD
This release promises much. Will Oldham is one of the greatest songwriters around but his aversion to contemporary production values has never exactly increased the prospect of his spellbinding tales about horses, religion, incest and copulating mountains featuring on mainstream radio. On "Greatest Palace Music" he records a selection of his older tracks with an accomplished coterie of session musicians.
It is interesting to see which albums dominate: namely "Palace Brothers" (also known as "Days in the Wake") and "Viva Last Blues" which contribute five and four songs respectively. Suitably enough, given the enterprise at hand, the former of these albums was effectively Oldham's "Pink Moon", almost exclusively featuring only himself on acoustic guitar and voice. By comparison, "Viva" is probably Oldham's most off-putting sounding release which did actually mar soms of the stunning writing.
The paradox is that Oldham's cracked voice and stark sound is an integral part of his attraction and, wonderful though "Greatest Palace Music" is in parts, at times the upbeat reworkings are disfiguring (especially "I Send My Love to You" and "I am a Cinematographer"). In fact the standout tracks are ones which do not deviate greatly from the originals - the gorgeous "Riding" and ominous "the Brute Choir" and "More Brother Rides". In these and other tracks, Oldham's voice is intertwined with a number of purer, frequently female backers to occasionally hypnotic effect.
The instrumental flourishes are, for the main, well chosen - piano, pedal steel, violin feature throughout and "Viva Ultra" pulls off the most difficult trick in the book - a saxophone solo that does not sound awful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another belter from Will Oldham 25 Mar 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is very much a preliminary review, since I've only had the album a few days, but I can already tell that it's a record I'm going to fall in love with. Will Oldham's last album, "Master and Everyone" was by some distance the musical highlight of 2003, a cracked voice singing quietly and peacefully of a variety of moods of love, from resignation to raging against the dying of the light. This has a different tone - where Master and Everyone was alt.folk, this one takes a sort of Nashville turn.
The very idea of an artist's alter-ego recording cover versions of songs done when he was recording as a different incarnation is cool as hell - the only way you could imagine it is if Ziggy Stardust were somehow doing an album of covers of Bowie's eighties big-suits and slick-hair songs like "China Girl"
The lyrics, as ever with Oldham, are full of wit, warmth, imagination and spite in equal measure - "If you have no-one, no-one can hurt you", being sung in a voice that really puts across how badly hurt you must have been to think like that, while still knowing the underlying foolishness of the sentiment.
It is very weird to hear Bonnie Prince Billy with music in the background though - where he's normally sparse, even minimal, in the musical arrangements, here there are pianos, guitars, even a bit of jollity in the music, proper Nashville country stuff. His voice, which I understand he deliberately strains by mistuning his guitar to get that sound of effort and crackedness, is as compelling as ever, he sounds in places quite like Van Morrison.
I don't like Nashville country, I don't like Van Morrison, but I absolutely adore this. If you've never heard any Bonnie Prince Billy, go for Master and Everyone first, but if you bought that and liked it, this is certainly well worth the money. Some albums you buy and know that you'll still be listening to in a year's time, and this is one of them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars bewildering but brilliant 25 Mar 2004
Format:Audio CD
'Greatest Palace Music' collects together tracks from Will Oldham's huge back catalogue of releases but with the added twist of Oldham re-recording them in the slighty more commercial style of his Bonnie 'Prince' Billy alter-ego.
The melanchonic country style is an attracitve one and works well with the multitude of instruments surrounding it. There are moments on Greatest Palace Music ("You Will Miss Me When I Burn", "The Brute Choir") of stark emotion; gaps and holes occasionally filled with light; a fragmented voice grafted onto the back of Oldham's haggard head; where even the slide solo is condensed and whimpering. But, for the most part, the shambling, stately pallbearer pace is replaced with a bouncing, undeviating, and totally inappropriate luster.
Gulf Shores" climbs toward a swarm of overlapping voices in perfect harmony, robotically in sync. On "Pushkin", Oldham preaches The Word with a shell-shocked, Appalachian puberty that caricatures itself, and holds its springing slow-jazz drabness in contempt. It's not just polished; it's fabricated, deceitful, condescending, belittling.
All this leaves you with a higly emotional and provactive record which needs to be heard.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a genius... 2 April 2004
By kraaft
Format:Audio CD
What more can a ask for. Bonnie Billy returns, this time in full country garb, reworking some classic and some 'not so classic' gems from the Palace back catalogue. This is not a greatest hits! With tongue firmly in cheek, Bonnie Billy takes the cracked beauty of his earlier peons and lays on the sliding country twang with great aplomb. Sometimes dark, sometimes hilarious this collection of songs is a definite cheeky wink to his closest followers. So why just 4 stars? - With a back catalogue full of such revered and cherished songs, it's obviously dangerous to tamper with perfection. In many cases on this collection, the reworkings veer enough from the originals to avoid tainting them. The goose-stepping swing and honky tonk of "I am a cinematographer" will make you laugh throughout....However, the version of "New Partner" that opens the CD is painfully tuneless, losing the character and grace of the perfect original. While "Riding" also remains practically unchanged and unnecessary in it's inclusion. That said, I've played the CD 30 odd times over the last 48 I guess I like it!!..Bonnie Billy is still a million miles ahead of the competition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Gold
If you like great country music in the Gram Parsons/Emmy Lou Harris mold and you cross that with the great voice and lyrics of Bonnie Prince Billy then you will love this album. Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by Maggot Brain
1.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like a good idea but...
This sounds like a nicely skewed idea: dark songs given the full Nashville treatment. But, with a couple of exceptions, the songs aren't up to it, his voice is weak,... Read more
Published on 24 April 2008 by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reworking
I totally disagree with the poor review given this album by Karl B. This is a fantastic collection of reworked songs by Will Oldham - of his own old material. Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2007 by MC Marky Mark
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it worth it?
This album is Will Oldham rehashing his old songs seemingly for an audience of people who believe Dollie Parton is the messiah of country music - perhaps Mr. Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2007 by Karl B
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it worth it?
This album is Will Oldham rehashing his old songs seemingly for an audience of people who believe Dollie Parton is the messiah of country music - perhaps Mr. Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2007 by Karl B
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the Belgian
I really wasn't sure about this album at first, but it has become one that I return to again and again. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2005
1.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing
As a long time Will Oldham fan, I have to say this CD was a real dissapointment to me. It is absolutely not representative for the other work of this marvelous artist. Read more
Published on 19 May 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction
If you've never heard this artist before (or have but found him too stark) then this album is a great way to start. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2004 by "rberrisford"
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